tv National Christmas Tree Lighting CSPAN December 8, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EST
>> we only wish we were winding up. >> senators, thank you, congressman, thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> american history tv an c-span2 3. president obama lights the christmas tree. after that a ceremony marking the attack on pearl harbor. >> on thursday president obama and the first family participated in the 90th annual national christmas tree lighting ceremony. the tradition started with prest coolidge. this year's tree is a 23 foot
>> please welcome director of washington st. john's church. >> let us bow our heads in prayer. let us pray. gracious god who has blessed us with this good land for our heritage, we pray that we may always prove ourselves to be a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. we pray that you will save us from violence, discord and confusion, from pride, arrogance and fear of each other, defend our liberties and fashion into one nite people the multitudes brought here out of many nations and languages. we pray that you will shower with your life giving spirit those to whom we have entrusted the authority of our
government, that there may be justice and peace at home and that we may be a plessing to all the nations of the world. in the time of pross terty, fill our parties with thankfulness and in the day of trouble let us not lose our trust in you. let this national tree be a reminder that in some inexplicable way you are standing with us at all times. all this we ask in your most holy name, amen. >> good evening. on behalf of the national park foundation and national park service it is a great privilege to present the national christmas tree lithing. just steps from here 90 years ago this grand tradition began as a small group of people gathered together to celebrate the holiday season in our
nation. through the the years the tradition has continued, in times of peace and war and times of prosperity and hardship. steadfast for 90 years we have come here. tonight we gather again to honor this moment and this place. it's part of the great american story. our nation is woven together by moments and places such as these, each with a unique story to share, places that tell the world around us like death valley and yellow stone. and the place honor as well as come rate our greatest sacrifices, the statute of libber tirks pearl harbor,
flight 93, these places, these stories are protected by the national park service. however, these places do not exist if not for you. the dedicated individuals throughout time that have gathered to safe guard and share the story of america. now in our 45th year the national park foundation is proud to carry on this legacy. it's a non-profit partner of the national parks. we invite you to join us in telling the story of america so that these moments and special places are here tomorrow and for generations to come. now, here to share a story of the season, please join me in welcoming the first laid of the united states of america, michelle obama. [applause]
>> thank you. you're such a gentleman. >> thank you. >> how are you doing? >> we're going to read a story. what do you think we're going to read? >> twass the night before christmas. >> we're going to take turns this year, okay. you ready? >> yes. >> twass the night before christmas when all through the house not a crechure was stirring, not even a mouse. the stockings were hung by the which i amny with care in homes that is the nicholas would soon be there. the children were in their beds while visions of sugeplums danced in their heads. >> we had just settled our brain for a long winters nap. >> when out on the lawn arose such a clatter i sprange from the fwode see what was the matter.
>> i tore open the shutters and threw open the sash. >> the snow gave the luster to objects below. when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a minute chure sleigh and 8 tine rain deer. >> way driver so lively and quick i knew it must be is the nick. >> they came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. >> now dasher, dancer prancer and vixen on cupid and donner and blitz sen. >> to the top of the porch to the top of the wall now dash dash away dash away all. >> as dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly when they mount to the sky. >> so up to the house top the courses they flew with the sleigh full of toys and st. nicholas too.
>> and then in a twinkling i heard on the roof each little hoof. >> aze drew in my head i was turning around down the which i amny st. nicholas came with a do you understand. >> he was dressed in fur from his head to his foot, his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. >> a bundle of toys on his back and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. >> his eyes how they twinkled his cheeks were like roses and his knows like a cherry. >> his mouth was drawn up like a bow and his beard was as white as the snow. >> the stump of his pipe held tight to his teeth. >> he had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. >> he was chup by and plump and right jolly old elf and i
laughed when i saw him >> a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know i had nothing to dread. >> he spoke not a word and went straight to his work. >> lage his finger aside of his knows and giving a nod up the which i amny he rose. >> he sprank to his slay to his team gave a whistle off they flew. >> but i heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight merry christmas to all and to all a good night. >> [applause] >> mr. president and first lady and first family and all of you who are here, on bhaffer of the entire united states department of interior and park service we are honored to be here with all of you this christmas season.
a tradition today that dates back 90 years and a tradition that brings us to this special place to light our nation's spirit of peace, hope and joy. from coast to coast from sea to shining sea, the national park service weeves together the tapestry that helps us tell the story of all of america and all of her people. president's park is one such thread in this great tapestry. thank you to the men and women of the national park service who protect our natural and cultural heritage for ourselves and future generations to enjoy each and every day. you are the guardians of the 3998 crown jewels that come price america's best ideas. tonight we come together yet again in this national park with family and friends to celebrate and reflect on the meaning of this very special season. what started here with a few
thousand people almost 90 years ago, this event is now watched by millions and millions of people all around the united states and around the globe. so this evening let us welcome in the season of joy, once again, resolving to be peace makers and resolving to care for those around us, especially those who are in the greatest need. tonight we are blessed as a nation to have a president barack obama as the leader of our nation and as the leader of the free world. in him i know a heart that i lime nates the great example of christ whose birthday we celebrate across this world. in the president i know a man whose life of service started a long time ago helping those who were voiceless have a voist to
live their god given potential. and today as president of these united states, he works hire easily every day in the spirit of service for all of the people of our nation to help build the world where all of god's people will have the opportunity to live their lives showered with the blessings endowed upon them by our creator. so it is with great, great joy and pride that i am honored to introduce to all of you the 44th president of the united states of america, barack obama. ♪ ♪ >> merry christmas, everybody. michelle told me to be brief
because she wants to hear music. thank you for that generous introduction and for your dedication to protecting our natural resources. i want to thank the whole national park foundation and the national park service team for helping to put on this beautiful production. let's give a big hand to kneel patrick harris and this evening's performers for putting on a fantastic show. and i want to thank all of you for joining us in this tradition. >> we have been lighting the national christmas tree for 90 years now, in times of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, we've always come together to rejoice in the christmas
miracle. but our tree has been having a hard time recently. this is our third one. our long standing tree was lost in a storm. and then its replacement didn't take hold. goes to show nobody's job is safe here in washington. but i feel good about this one. it was planted just days before hurricane sandy and it made it through the storm in one piece. now we know that some of our neighbors to the north saw a more ruthless and destructive sandy. and this holiday season is ep live difficult for families who lost everything in the storm. it's also time for us to be grateful for the% veeverpbes of men and women in the storm's path that show us that americans will always be
stronger than the challenges we face. as i did before thanksgiving i can't help but tell a story of their holiday spirit. in midland beach new york on a street lines with businesses devastated by the storm. a big christmas tree shines out of the darkness. just a couple of weeks ago as impacted families were seeking some sense of getting back to normal, one local nursery donated the tree and another chipped in for the lights and star. and 70-year-old tom and his long-time bud disfrom the area planted it at the end of the street overlooking the town beach. as tom says, the tree has one message. it's christmas time, not disaster time. and tom is right. for centuries the message of
christmas, of peace and goodwill to all has guided millions of people around the world through good times but also through bad times. this year is no different. it's a chance for all of us to open our hearts to the least fortune among us. to remember what christ taught us that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. that the simpest gives wring the greatest joy. it's a chance to count our blessings and give thanks to our service members who defend them. for americans from all backgrounds and beliefs may this season remind us of the spirit that united states us as citizens. and may every tree across the country shine as a beacon of hope for all americans.
so on behalf of the entire family, i'd like to wish each and every one of you a very merry christmas and a peaceful and joyful holiday season. god bless you and god bless america. [applause] >> the chiefs of staff had to make the pln for the invasion of japan without considering the atomic bomb. it was estimated it would cost 250,000 of our youngsters and 500,000 of them have been maimed for life. >> he was somebody sort of in the middle of this, i choose to honor both. so the sacrifice of american service men fighting their way
through the pacific and of a little girl who died as a result of an atomic bofment it's unimaginable what that must have been like to be close to that, to the center where that fire ball originated and the blast was strongest. >> follow daniel on his journey sunday on history tv. they discuss meetings with bomb survivors at 9:00 m p.m. eastern. >> on tuesday house speaker john boehner participated in the lighting of the capitol christmas tree. colorado law makers from the house and senate took part in the event. this is 30 minutes.
>> good evening everyone and welcome to the 48th annual united states capitol christmas tree lighting ceremony. i'm the architect of the capitol and i'm honored to serve as your master of ceremonies tonight as we carry out this wonderful tradition this year. for everyone's safety we ask you stay in your seats until the conclusion of this evening's program. >> every year, i look forward to this event to officially kick off the holiday season here on capitol hill. and even though the weather doesn't feel like it's december 4, nothing says christmas like the playing of festive holiday carols. i would like to extend a special thank you to the united states air force band under the
direction of peter foliard and created this great and festive holiday mood. let's give them a hand, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] [applause] >> and behind me stands the u.s. capitol's christmas tree, a majestic 73-foot spruce from colorado's white river national forest. [applause] [cheers and applause] >> and in keeping with tradition, the speaker of the house, the honorable john boehner, will extend his holiday greetings to you and officially light this remarkable tree in a few moments. but before we get to that big moment, i'd like to welcome members of congress and distinguished guests, our capitol hill neighbors and those of you who are visiting our nation's capital.
thank you for joining us this evening. i would like to acknowledge members of the colorado delegation in attendance this evening including senator mark udall, senator michael bennett, congressman scott tipton as well as former senator ben nighthorse campbell. [cheers and applause] >> and senator campbell, of course, drove that tree 5,500 miles to washington dis-- d.c. [cheers and applause] >> now this incredibly beautiful tree has been decorated with ornaments crafted by colorado residents which reflect the theme celebrating our great outdoors. and speaking of ornaments, the
u.s. capitol historical society produces a beautiful one to place upon this tree. and at this time, i would like to welcome its president, mr. ronald serrison. [applause] >> thank you very much. and ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, it is our pleasure, the u.s. capitol historical society every year to produce an ornament placed on this tree. it is important because it is our 50th anniversary. the society was founded in 1962. it is a scene, a winter scene of the capitol dome with snow and so forth. very beautiful. you can purchase it at www.uschs.org. thank you very much for allowing us to be part of the program. >> thank you, ron. [applause]
>> thank you so much, ron. and for more than 40 years, the u.s. forest service and architect of the capitol have partnered to bring a christmas tree to the capitol from one of our nation's 155 national forests. i would like to specifically thank the dedicated forest service staff from both here in washington and in colorado who helped make this event possible. and let's give them a round of applause. [applause] >> joining us this evening is the honorable sherman, under secretary for natural resources and environment at the u.s. department of agriculture. he has a holiday message to share with you as well. [applause]
>> speaker boehner, senators udall and bennett, congressman tipton and distinguished guests, on behalf of the secretary, tom vilsack and our chief of the forest service, i would like to say a few words if i can. each year, the capitol christmas tree comes from the u.s. forest service, which is an agency within usda and eachier we -- each year we select that tree from a different forest. this tree is from a small town called meeker, colorado in the white river national forest in the high mountain areas of colorado. and it's a spruce tree and 73 feet tall and happens to be 74 years old. it's only the third time in colorado's history that
colorado has provided the capitol christmas tree and i'm particularly proud of that since i'm a colorado resident. yay, colorado! [cheers and applause] >> we call this the people's tree for good reason and that's because it comes from our public lands, which are owned by all the people of the united states. and these are lands that provide recreation, wildlife habitat, clean water, clean air and the opportunity to connect with the great outdoors. so this occasion tonight also gives us the opportunity to recognize some of the challenges that we have with our national forests, particularly the wildland fires we experienced last summer and the bark beetle. this tree reminds us if we work together and restore the health and the resiliency of these ecosystems, we can produce a new generation of healthy trees that will grow to be as
magnificent as the tree behind me. we can work together at the local and national level and private-public partnerships and we can work together to bring this tree to you tonight. as we celebrate the holiday season, i ask that we take a moment to remember our brave men and women in our armed forces, a high proportion of them are from rural america and many of them are overseas today away from their homes and families so we can be safe and free. we thank them for their service. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much. this tree has been on a tremendous journey. in fact, it traveled 5,500
across the country from colorado. and just nine days ago, the tree arrived here on the west front of the capitol and our dedicated capitol grounds crew went to work to decorate it. didn't they do a fantastic job? [applause] >> let me also thank our capitol grounds superintendent who had the tough task of selecting just one tree from the many beautiful trees found in the white river national forest. next, ladies and gentlemen, it's my honor and pleasure to introduce congressman scott tipton. he has been serving the people of the 3rd district of colorado in the u.s. house of representatives since 2010. congressman tipton. [applause] >> thank you, steve. i would like to thank the
secretary for his kind comments and i think it's important to note in addition to our united states senators, we are joined by the entire colorado delegation. our members of congress, diana degette, jared polis, cory gardner and congressman perlmutter. i had the great privilege to be with our former senator in the shadow of the rocky mountains where this tree once stood and we now have the high privilege of standing in the shadow of the capitol of the united states of america to be able to celebrate this season. when we went to carve that tree, we were joined there by members of the ute tribes. they are inherent to our area. the people of the ute tribes, they have a word that things
are good -- to make sure that all is good. native american culture, it's about wind, about the sky, the land, and water. and from that, growth and life comes. this tree, which will represent the spirit of the state of colorado and indeed our nation speaks also to the importance as the secretary noted of forest health. in the state of colorado, we have many challenges this last summer, with wildfires that destroyed property and indeed took lives. the importance of our forests we cannot overstate. proper responsible management to be able to get in and deal and create these healthy forests is essential for the beauty of our state and our nation. i would like to express to you from the people of the great state of colorado who are so proud to be able to have this tree represented in our
nation's capitol, their heartiest merry christmas and happy holidays and god bless you all during this holiday season. [applause] >> it's my high honor to be able to introduce a colleague and friend and senator from the great state of colorado, michael bennett. [applause] >> thank you everybody. it may not look like it, we are voting on the defense authorize age built. my job is to get from here to there before they close it and senator udall will follow me and give you a more proper talk. let me first say welcome to the rest of the colorado delegation and welcome to everyone who is here from colorado and welcome to washington, d.c., for this great night. all i want to say is thank you.
there are people back in colorado who made it possible from officials working on the white river national forest to our native american friends and congressman tipton mentioned, to ben nighthorse campbell, who drove this truck across the country in a mack truck. those who are familiar or not familiar with a mack truck don't think it will fit, but he made it happen. when it came to denver, my kids' first question was, dad, why can't you drive that truck? so thank you for that, senator campbell. and i want to say a profound thank you to speaker boehner and for the architect of the capitol who organized this event. this was a ton of work for a lot of people in our state. we are very proud of this tree being here and on behalf of the state of colorado, let me make the offer that we would like to do this every single year.
finally, it's a great honor for me and it is and this isn't political talk, to introduce my senior senator, my friend, somebody -- there is no greater champion for forest health, special places in our state than mark udall. but he outdid himself when he went on a survey to find not particularly this tree, but a suitable tree, to stand here in front of the capitol years and years of mountaineering made that possible. which give you the senior senator from the state of colorado, mark udall. [applause] >> i let senator bennett know he had to vote right. we will conference the defense authorization and get it to the president's desk.
but we are here to celebrate the people's tree and that term was coined by one of the speakers, great predecessors, tip o'neill, he was here and lit the michigan tree and he declared that it would be an emblem of peace for the nation and the world. and that's exactly the purpose among many that this tree rements. since 1970, every capitol christmas tree has been cut from national forests from across our great country. it is 73 feet. engel man spruce has been cut from the white river national forest in meeker, colorado. and this has been a statewide celebration when we were chosen as the state from which the
tree would come this year and i'm really glad to be here with you tonight. i want to express my gratitude to the ute tribes that are represented here today. their homelands were 1,500 years, they lived in these lands. i would like to acknowledge the utes, because they are a wonderful part of our state and heritage. [applause] >> i have a long speech and normally, i would shorten it because it would be cold out here. for every degree under zero, your speech has to be reduced by one minute, but we do have a wonderful warm evening in which to celebrate this very important and moving event. i want to thank a number of participants who were involved in coordinating tonight's event. mack trucks, the colorado tourism office [applause]
>> national association of convenience stores and vail resorts. these organizations all played a significant role in helping choose outdoors, which is the name of the organization and the national forest service to safely deliver this magnificent spruce from our own white river national forest. i'm proud to welcome fourth generation cheryl st. john, the winner of this year's art contest with our entry awaiting spring. cheryl's appreciation for nature and environmental preservation can easily be seen through her artwork. congratulations are also in order for the winner of the capitol christmas tree song competition, lindsay lawler who wrote the song "standing tall. she is going to follow me and you will be very moved by this song and the way in which she will sing it to us.
let's give her a round of applause, too. [applause] >> as i conclude, i hopefully don't have a long speech, i want to conclude in the same vein that congressman tipton and others, as we gaze upon the beauty of the people's tree may we stand here and remember that this tree is a symbol of our mission to protect and cherish our forests and there is important work to be done to ensure our forests remain vibrant. we have seen in our state the effects of climate change from ongoing drought to weather conditions that have contributed to devastating wildfires and i look forward to working with my colleagues in congress to address this challenge. in just a few minutes, we will see ryan shuster flip the switch and officially light the 2012 united states capitol
christmas tree. he is an eagle scout and shares my great love for the out of doors. i met your mother and father earlier today and what an honor for you to be part of this. as i make way for the speaker, i had a great 10 years in the house. some days, i miss the house, mr. speaker. i want to again thank you for being here and i hope you get a chance to see the beautiful ornaments up close. over 5,000 of them and hand made by the children of colorado and adults from corner of colorado to the other. so think of it as a way of wishing you a happy holiday season from colorado. we are proud to have the tree here from the great state of colorado. and i'll turn it back over to the architect of the capitol. [applause] >> thank you so much, senator udall. and now it's my pleasure to
introduce, ms. lindsay lawler. she is the winner of the u.s. forest service song writing contest to create the official song for the capitol christmas tree and will be singing her original composition "standing tall. lindsay. [applause] >> thank you. this is a privilege to be here and i have never been here to washington, d.c., and it's my birthday. so this is pretty special and privilege to be here with you. merry christmas. ♪ ♪ ♪
[applause] >> wow! that was magnificent. ladies and gentlemen, it's now my privilege to introduce the speaker of the house, john boehner has served the people of the 8th district in ohio and in congress since 1990 and held numerous leadership roles over the years. in january, 2011, he became the 53rd speaker of the house. ladies and gentlemen, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> well, steve, let me just say thanks to you and your team and the architect's office and the grounds crew have done a great job inputting this
together. and let me thank the colorado delegation for being here. i would take credit for the weather. [laughter] >> but i thought the senators would do it before i did. [laughter] >> lindsay, great job and i'm glad we have nice weather so you could wear that pretty dress without having to put a big overcoat on it. let me say thank you to all of you here tonight. this great spruce has traveled many miles. thanks to ben and his partner who brought the tree from colorado here. it's christmastime and it's the splendor of this tree calls to mind the star of bethlehem and the chance of the angels announcing a humble birth in a manger. the birth of christ fulfilled, the prophecy of salvation and giving a weary world a chance
to rejoice and we will bring light to the tree that flour issues as a symbol of everlasting life. this tree will bring light to us, opening our hearts a little more to the needs of our neighbors and the conven ants we have made with one other. the celebration of christmas is not merely a story that occurred a long time ago. i think the real mystery is having that story reborn in our souls just as the shepards were stirred by the angels singing "glory to god in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men. i offer you this simple phrase. god bless us, everyone. and from my family to yours, merry christmas. [applause] >> enough of the talk and enough of the speeches, let's get on with lighting the
tree. senator udall introduced our guest tonight. he is ryan shuster from colorado springs and he is a high school senior, more importantly, he's an eagle scout. so ryan, why don't you come up here and join me. there he is. there he is. button your coat. come on. [laughter] >> ryan, pictures last forever. now, here's the switch. lead us in a countdown starting with five. >> five, four, three, two, one. >> yay! [band playing o christmas tree]
i wish you a merry christmas and a good night. [cheers and applause] captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> explore the history and literary culture of albany this weekend. next a ceremony marking the attack on pearl harbor. after that a discussion about modern day slavery and human trafficking then president obama lighting the national christmas tree. >> tomorrow on washington journal they discuss the latest on the fiscal cliff
negotiations. they look at the role of lobyists in those fiscal cliff negotiations. and an update on the situation in syria. washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. >> by a majority of 6 to 3 and they are going to say that is precedent. and indiana had a -- >> they decided on the indiana case it was constitutional for them to establish i.d. they did not say that all of those states who have subsequently done that -- >> let me finish because you misrepresent what i said. >> hold on. >> that's the law of the land. >> when i hear these accusations that black people, voter i.d. laws
disproportionately affect minorities, it implies to me we have something missing in our brain. to me if white can get i.d.'s to vote and follow the processes to follow the laws, what are you telling black people? that they are not good enough, that they are lesser than and that bothers me from democrats on the left that we always have to make special -- there has to be a specialness when we deal with minorities because they are too feebleminded. we need to make concessions for them because they can't follow the rules like everybody else. and when you treat people like victims, then i don't think they want to aspires. >> more with the editor crystal wright sunday night at 8:00 on
>> ladies and gentlemen, our invocation will be delivered by lieutenant colonel. >> our help is in the name of the lord who made heven around earth. the souls of the righteous are in the hand of god. though their bodies be destroyed yet their name live eth for ever more. let us pray. all mighty god, creator and sustainer, we offer to you libations of thanksgiving and praise. today we remember a time of great tyranny in our world.
we remember world war ii. we also remember those who stood their ground against great tyranny. those who fought here at home and on the battle fronts to ensure that tyranny would not prevail. we thank you that in the hour of need, you gave men and women the strength and resolve to stand no matter the cost. may those brave sowls who still remain here with us feel today your hand of favor and strength. for those who remain with us today receive renude hope and an awareness of gratitude for their bravery and sacrifice. we ask for your unceasing grace and bountiful blessings on them and their families. now lord, we covert your wisdom
on your life's journey as we forge forward committed to building global unity and peace. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen please be seated. >> our first speaker today is representing as the co-host for today's ceremony for the national park service superintendent of the national memorial parks. [applause] >> good afternoon, on behalf of the national park service, it is my pleasure to welcome you
to the world war ii memorial which is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who fought in that war. as the superintendent of the national mall and memorial parks, i have the true honor of serving as the custodian of this memorial and of ensuring that the story of the breave men and women who fought in world war ii is told to the millions of visitors who come here each year. we are very pleased to part ner with the friends of the national world war ii memorial in that effort and i'd like to jank the general for his continued friendship and partnership. we in the national park service share in your mission to ensure that the legacy and sacrifices of world war ii veterans are not forgotten.
i'd particularly like to thank admiral winnefeld for being here today which we appreciate all of your service, an incredible service to our nation. and we are honored that you would take time out of your very, very busy schedule. i understand that he just got off of a flight a short time ago from afghanistan. and i think that's at least a two or three hour flight. but it was important for him to be here today and we are all honored and gracious that you are here with us. there are many honors that come with my job but there are none that mean more to me than taking part in ceremonies like this, that take the time to recognize the importance of our brave men and women in uniform, both today and in the past. to all members of our armed forces and the veterans who are
here, i am deeply honored and hum led to spend pearl harbor day with you. but i'd like to especially acknowledge our world war ii veterans who came here today and say welcome to your memorial. [applause] there is no tribute, no co-mem ration, no honor that can match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice. but you do have a nation's thanks and this memorial was conceived and built as a way to express our nation's gratitude to the 16 million men and women who met and defeated the greatest threat that the world has ever seen. more than 400,000 men and women gave their lives in that